January 19, 2011

Will the EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee tomorrow ask the legal service whether ACTA complies with the Treaties?

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Member of Parliament Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens) wants to ask the “legal service of the Parliament if the final Version of ACTA and its foreseen legislative procedure is in line with the Treaties of the European Union and which legal possibilities there are for the European Parliament to challenge this in front of the European Court of Justice”.

It seems Chairman Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP) is rather hesitant to do this. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’s criminal measures criminalise ordinary companies and individuals. The measures seem to violate the Treaties.

Update: Decision postponed, awaits interpretation of RoP XVI.4.

One thought on “Will the EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee tomorrow ask the legal service whether ACTA complies with the Treaties?

  1. Hi Ante,

    as you know, I work for the mentioned Jan Philipp Albrecht. Let me try to shed some light on the complex situation on this.

    It is correct that the legal affairs (JURI) Committee and its chairman have postponed the decision on asking the ECJ about ACTA for weeks. The formal reasoning is now that this would be the first such request to the ECJ under the Lisbon Treaty, and that deciding on exactly how to do the request therefore would imply interpreting the treaties, which is the exclusive domain of the constitutional affairs (AFCO) committee. *Sigh*, yes.

    So at the moment, the file is hanging in the AFCO committee. The AFCO chairman will write a (short) report on this, and the signals are that the outcome will be positive for us. AFCO plans to do this very quickly, maybe even within the next two weeks or so.

    So Jan Philipp Albrecht now has decided grind his teeth, play this funny game if the other groups really insist on it, wait for the AFCO report first, and then push for a good decision among the JURI coordinators.

    Let’s hope the waiting is worth it, but if we would force a decision now, we would lose everything.

    PS: It would of course be appreciated if you could mention this on twitter, too. Thx!